As 6 p.m. rolled around on Friday, students arriving at Wells Fargo Arena could already see the line of early concertgoers swamping the front doors to waiting for the Free Fall Welcome Concert.
The amount of people waiting rapidly increased. Some paced, some sat in strange positions and some simply stood, all in anticipation of seeing Taking Back Sunday and the rest of the concert’s events.
Chris Shrear, the assistant concert series director for the Programs and Activities Board, said it was amazing to see so many people show up.
“We hope that all the work that we’ve put into this since April will feed the craved appetites of everyone here,” Shrear said.
When the doors opened, thousands of students poured through the arena doors and into the first seats they could set their eyes on.
Around 7:30 p.m. the lights dimmed. Subtle sounds of instruments vibrated throughout the stadium and the stage effects flashed in brilliant colors as the first band, Raining & Ok, performed.
Raining & Ok set an euphoric ambiance that led spectators comfortably into a trance of relaxed participation and positive mood swings.
Civil engineering freshman Andrew Mahony said he really enjoyed the band.
“It was almost like a completely awesome underwater floating experience, with music,” he said.
The second act of the evening was stand-up comedian Baron Vaughn
The comedian performed self-impressions from events in his own life and everyday situations that any “average Joe” would experience.
Painting senior Rachel Eskandari said Vaughn provided a good transition between bands.
“He gave us jokes to laugh at and something to pay attention to, only so we didn’t end up sitting there bored and possibly picking our noses,” she said.
When the second band of the night entered the arena, people were hit with a completely different genre of music.
Kinch opened its set with a funky blues rock song that brought some listeners to the edge of their seats and many more to their feet. Kinch had people shouting for more as vocalist Andrew Junker’s raging voice tantalized the dance genes deep within everyone in the audience.
There was one point during the band’s performance when people gathered in the top corners of the arena and formed large crowds of dancing people.
Following Kinch, staff members cleared the floor of chairs before the lights were dimmed. Smoke and light effects began to usher pop-rock band Taking Back Sunday onto the main stage.
Cheers and shouts came from the audience as the band members said brief, gracious greetings. Moments later they broke into their first song of the night, “What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?” from their third studio album “Louder Now.”
The band’s electrifying attitude caused explosions of excitement throughout the arena, which prompted people to flood the front of the stage, create mosh-pits and crowd surf.
Mechanical engineering freshman Geoff Clark was impressed by the performance.
“I thought they were one of the most intense and powerful bands I’ve ever seen live, plus, to come to ASU to perform at a free concert — well this just makes them even cooler,” he said.
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